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Books, movies, magazines, and music are the typical checkouts at libraries. The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is anything but typical.


You can now borrow Experience Kits. Here are three examples:

• Cake Decorating Experience Kit: letters and numbers non-stick bakeware set; cake decorating tips set with couplers and disposable icing bags; rotating cake stand; cake cutter/leveler; stainless steel icing spatulas; The Complete Photo Guide to Cake Decorating by Autumn Carpenter; and Cake Decorating for Beginners Guide by Wilton

• Glasses for the Colorblind Experience Kit: pair of Enchroma sunglasses; Schylling Classic Tin Kaleidoscope; and Life in Color: National Geographic Photographs by National Geographic

• Cat Lover’s Dementia Experience Kit: Joy for All Companion Pet Creamy White Cat; Adora PlayTime Baby Little Princess; 11-piece wooden jigsaw puzzle; set of 60 multicolored baby bear counting figurines with sorting cups; The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins; and Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease by Joanne Koenig Coste



Photos of the Hiking Experience Kit in use courtesy Marinna Graham


“There are a lot of times when you want to try something new, but you don’t want to invest your money until you know if it’s something you’ll actually enjoy or need,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing. “An Experience Kit lets you check out an item – we also have several STEM-related kits for kids and families since the community enjoyed Discover Tech so much – for two weeks. You can decide if the items in the kit are something you’d like to own. If so, you know you’ll be happy with your purchase. If not, you have at least had a new experience. Because we expect a positive, popular response, you can only keep a kit for two weeks and not renew it immediately. After you return it, you can put a hold on it and check it out again, though. We’ve created 17 kits, providing two of most of them that we expect to be popular, such as cake decorating and hiking.”


To find out more about the kits, CLICK HERE for the online catalog.


A generous gift from the Friends of the Library allowed KHCPL to start the project. “We plan to add more Experience Kits after we test the system we’ve set up,” Fipps said. “We’d love some input on reusable items patrons would like to see in kits. If there are individuals, organizations, or businesses that would like to sponsor kits, we’d love to find more donors so we can provide even more kits.”


The Experience Kits are another tool KHCPL is using to change the community’s perception of libraries. “Libraries in general have had to fight their outdated image of being a warehouse for books. Today’s libraries are so different. For example, KHCPL was the first library in the world to host a Banksy. It brought it in patrons from 59 different Indiana towns, 17 states, and Ireland and England to see graffiti from the most famous street artist in the world. Talk about an experience! KHCPL loves providing new experiences to patrons.”


“2017 really has been a big year for KHCPL,” Fipps added. “We have offered a variety of events, programs, and exhibits that are making people take notice of our new vision and mission: The library is a vital component in an engaged and thriving community, and we create opportunities for our community to become its best. In doing so, we’ve received international attention and recognition from our library peers. The Experience Kits project is one more element to help us achieve our goals.”


For more information about Experience Kits or to donate, call Fipps at 765.626.0807 or email her at


Photos (C) Tim Bath and the Kokomo Tribune